Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) last night held their first virtual awards ceremony for the combined ZAA USA-Canada editions in an event sponsored by WorldRemit held across various online platforms.
The combined event was held virtually in adherence to regulations regarding public gatherings due to Covid-19 and saw Zimbabwean achievers based in the USA and Canada get honored for their exploits in their respective country editions.
“We are so proud of the achievements of Zimbabweans who keep defying odds and raising the flag wherever they are in the world. As we celebrate and honour those in the USA and Canada, we also salute the efforts of every achiever around the world doing their best especially in such trying times. Let us celebrate each other as always,” said ZAA Chairman Conrad Mwanza
The event was hosted by Canadian-based duo of Otni and Ruvi TV, with entertainment provided by SA-based musician Nox Guni who gave a sterling musical performance.
Notable winners on the night included teen motorcross sensation and humanitarian Tanya Muzinda, Zivanayi Masango, actor Tongayi Arnold Chirisa and Amanda Nothando as well as double award winner Malume Thamu of Asakhane Live for ZAA USA and ZAA Canada, respectively.
The event marked the second edition for ZAA Canada and the fifth for ZAA USA and was sponsored by WorldRemit, ZororoPhumulani and Burmain Properties.
ZAA is an international awards brand founded in 2010 to recognize, honor and celebrate high achievement by global Zimbabweans, with annual awards galas held in ZAA editions in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Botswana.

ZAA Canada Winners

Sima Shayla Mabaleka (Wellness Empowered)

Prudence Zinzile Ntutha

Boxed Hope Foundation

Malume Thamu (Asakhane Live)


Amanda Nothando

Lawrence Sibanda(the general)

Sandra Maenzanise

Kudakwashe Murasiranwa

Boluwatife Adefemi

Malume Thamu (Asakhane Live)

Ronnie Mupambwa

ZAA USA Winners

Tisu Zim Goodies

Caroline Makamache-Dhewa – Rutendo Hope Foundation

Chiwoniso Mpofu

ZIMDFW Alliance Community

Tongayi Arnold Chirisa

Zivanayi Masango

Christian Fellowship Intl. – CFI

The Dialogue with Pastor Tee – Pastor Teresa Dangwa

Michelle Makai
Maka Chikowero

Josh Juma

Dr. MonaLisa Muchatuta
Tatenda Shopera Ph.d

Tanya Muzinda

Ziva kwawakabva

Dr. Tererai Trent

Yangu Beauty

Zivanayi Masango

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ZimAchievers Awards light up South Africa

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Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) last night honored the year’s high achievers at a glittering ceremony held at The Venue Melrose Arch graced by the Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa HE David Hamadziripi in Johannesburg.

The ZororoPhumulani ZAA SA edition was the 6th annual edition recognizing and awarding the leading lights in the Zimbabwean communities whose contributions have changed societies both home and abroad.

Entrepreneur Tatenda Mungofa, musician Sharmaine Mapimbiro aka ShaSha and comedian Long John were the biggest winners on the night, walking away with two gongs each at an event described as heartwarming by ZAA International Founder and Chairman Conrad Mwanza.

“It is very heartwarming and beautiful to gather here today as one people and celebrating all that we have done in such a difficult year. Our annual dinner gala was postponed from April due to Covid-19 induced lockdowns but that did not dampen the will to succeed of our people and today we gather to celebrate each other,” said Mwanza at the event.

“Today, what we are seeing is an example of Zimbabwean resilience and excellence in difficult times. Congratulations to all our nominees and winners, Zimbabwe needs more people and organizations like these as we work towards the common goal, a big thank you to our sponsors and partners for this amazing event.”
Ambassador Hamadziripi also commended Zimbabweans who are dotted around the world, whose works have positively impacted communities’ home and abroad and urged people to stay innovative and dedicated to celebrating each other.
ZororoPhumulani CEO Edwin Anderson expressed his congratulations to the achievers and affirmed his company’s dedication to supporting noble causes and providing the best and affordable services to communities.
South African filmmaker and legendary actor Thapelo Mokoena received the Chairman’s Honorary Friend of Zimbabwe Award and paid glowing tribute to the natural beauty and friendly nature of Zimbabwe.
“I’ve always said to my brother Conrad (Mwanza) Zimbabwe is like the love I never experienced. I call it the land of the living. When I first moved to Joburg I stayed at an apartment with a friend who grew up at a farm near Lake Kariba called Terrence Springer who always told me stories about Zimbabwe and how beautiful it was. It was always my desire to visit and I recently experienced the beauty first hand in a recent trip. Through those stories I’ve always wanted to make a film about Zimbabwe. In my early days in the industry my world was surrounded by the beautiful people from Zimbabwe and I realized I didn’t know much about my continent and had never visited Zimbabwe until recently,” said the actor, who was in Zimbabwe last month.

The awards were headline sponsored by life assurance firm ZororoPhumulani and recognized recipients in categories such as business, entrepreneurship, media, sport, entertainment and community, among other categories.

Notable recipients included Plan My Wedding SA founder Chelsea Evans, musician Nox Guni with an Honorary Award for Services to Music, Mukuru.com, Sony ATV A&R Manager Munya Chanetsa as well as EFC champion Themba Gorimbo.
“The journey to becoming a champion seems easy when you have attained the goal but there are so many obstacles that we have to overcome especially in foreign lands to make a living. I have personally gone through serious challenges and I am grateful to be honored by my fellow Zimbabweans,” said Gorimbo.
Soccer legend George Shaya was also honored with a Chairman’s Special Recognition for Services to Sport, along with Universal Music Group SA & Sub Sahara MD Sipho Dhlamini for services to Music Excellence.
The awards were hosted by actress and socialite Mbo Mahocs, with entertainment provided by Bekezela and rising star Lolo Skai. Zimbabwe Achievers Awards commemorated their 10th anniversary this year since their inception with the flagship ZAA UK edition in 2010.
The inaugural ZAA Botswana edition is next up on the prestigious awards calendar set for the 11th of December at the Zimbabwean Embassy in Gaborone.

Here is a full list of the winners

  1. People’s Choice – Chaka Photography
  2. Female Professional Award – Sophia Chitemere
  3. Male Professional Award – Neville Mandimika
  4. Female Entrepreneur Award – Chelsea Bartosz
  5. Male Entrepreneur – Tatenda Mungofa
  6. Young Achiever Award – Nicolatta Matuku
  7. Community Organization – ANTHU Foundation
  8. Business of the Year – Mukuru.com
  9. Outstanding Author/ Writer – Yaya Rudo
  10. Community Champion – Sinanziwe Ndlovu
  11. Sports Personality Award – Themba Gorimbo
  12. Simba Mhere Media Award – Zimcelebs
  13. Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment – ShaSha
  14. Outstanding Achievement in Music – ShaSha
  15. Female Personality Award – Roseanna Hall
  16. Male Personality Award – Long John
  17. Business Innovation Award – Tatenda Mungofa
  18. Peter Ndlovu SA-Based Footballer Award – Willard Katsande
  19. Academic Excellence of the Year – Dr. Bhekumthetho Ncube
  20. Media Production/Practitioner – Munya Chanetsa
  21. Chairman’s Honorary Awards:
  22. Special Recognition for Goodwill and Community Champion – Gogo Plaxedes Dilon Magombo
  23. Outstanding Service in Entrepreneurship and Business Leadership – Joseph Dhafana
  24. Outstanding Contribution to Music Excellence – Sipho Dhlamini
  25. Outstanding Service to Business – Benovick Gwaze
  26. Outstanding Business Leadership – Rev Maxwell Pirikisi
  27. Outstanding Service to Music – Nox Guni
  28. Outstanding Service to Sport (Football) – George Shaya
  29. Friend of Zimbabwe – Thapelo Mokoena
  30. Friend of Zimbabwe – Ilonka Esterhuyse
leslyicdigitalZimAchievers Awards light up South Africa
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CMG presents ZAA Global Virtual Summit

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CMG International Media Group has announced a two-day ZAA Virtual Summit penciled for 26 and 27 November, to create an engagement platform for diaspora home-based stakeholders.
The online event, in partnership with WorldRemit, is aimed at finding solutions and sharing ideas on various disciplines and industries and registration can be made on http://www.zimachievers.com/summit/.
The summit will run under the theme; Promoting critical conversation between the diaspora and home-based communities for collaboration and sustainable development.
“The ZAA has been celebrating Zimbabwean achievers for ten years and constantly encouraging collaborations and synergies between all Zimbabwean communities around the world. We are delighted to methodically engage as we seek to empower each other and in turn improve our prospects as a country,” said Conrad Mwanza of CMG International.
“The prevailing situation around the world signals a radical shift in the general way of things. It presents new challenges as well as new opportunities for our communities. The ability to adapt and improve on the old ways while innovatively discovering new things is a dynamic that is within our people. ZAA Virtual Summit seeks to bring those ideas on one table.”
The virtual summit will be split into different sessions steered by a moderator and panellists. There will be exchanges on different disciplines such as business and leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship, youth, music, real estate, and science & technology, among others.
CMG International also said that they will note sustainable recommendations and incubate community ideas from the summit to effect positive change at the individual, community, and national levels.
The summit sponsorship is the latest in a series of community initiatives embarked on by WorldRemit (https://wrm.app.link/zaa2020), with the international money transfer company supporting several local causes.
Some of the speakers and panellists include philanthropist and social entrepreneur Tanya Masiyiwa who has a remarkable record as a business executive. Tanya is also renowned for championing global community building through initiatives such as edtech start-up Simba Education, STAR Leadership Academy, Asheshi Foundation and most notably HigherLife Foundation where she heads the Office of Design and Innovation.
Universal Music Group executive Sipho Dhlamini, who is the Managing Director for South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa will also share insights at the summit. An industry veteran, Dhlamini has wide experience at running international record labels, artist management and established studios around the world. He also produced the acclaimed opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and related events among his achievements in a glittering career.
Inventor of the driverless car Will Sachiti, Multiple Global Award Winner Dr Hazel Herrington, Sony ATV Africa A&R Manager Munya Chanetsa, musician Tamy Moyo and Canada based real estate investors and authors Zeb and Colleen Tsikira, among others, will also speak at the event.
leslyicdigitalCMG presents ZAA Global Virtual Summit
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ZAA South Africa Gala Dinner

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Hello South Africa, here is something to put a smile on your face on a Monday morning.
We’re coming back this December!!!😁
Time to get those dazzling outfits and the tuxedos pressed as we get ready to celebrate each other once more.
Saturday 5 December 2020 at The Venue Melrose Arch, Johannesburg
#zimachievers #zaasa #zororophumulani #awardsseason

leslyicdigitalZAA South Africa Gala Dinner
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ZAA SA Nominees announced as Dates are set for SA and Botswana editions

The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) has announced the nominee and voting dates for the ZAA SA and Botswana editions which are set to be held on 5 and 11 December 2020, respectively.

ZAA SA will be hosting their 6th annual awards dinner gala at The Venue Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. The awards will be sponsored by ZAA global partner ZororoPhumulani.

ZAA International Chairman Conrad Mwanza expressed hailed the will to succeed against all odds displayed by the people in such a difficult year and promised a celebratory affair in December.

“We are delighted to be bringing the sixth edition of ZAA SA after what has surely been a tough year. 2020 has been one of the most difficult years in recent memory due to the global pandemic but we are pleased to announce the ZAA SA dates and congratulate this year’s nominees” said Mwanza.

“We are looking forward to celebrating and honoring our heroes safely and responsibly in December. As the lockdown restrictions ease up, it is only fitting to take the time to reflect on lessons the year has given us. At the same time, we also acknowledge the tremendous strides that have been taken by people in various disciplines, ” he added.

The inaugural ZAA Botswana edition will be held at the Zimbabwean Embassy in Gaborone on the 11th of December. Botswana becomes ZAA’s second annual edition on the continent after South Africa.

Botswana-based company Adventureland have partnered with ZAA as brand ambassadors as a new era of celebrating Zimbabweans in Botswana is ushered in. Nominations for ZAA Botswana are already underway on www.zimachievers.com and voting will start on 6 November.

“We welcome Botswana to the ZAA family and look forward to continue growing in a way that mirrors the growth and achievements of our people in various lands,’’ said Mwanza.

“We firmly believe in celebrating excellence to inspire excellence” and are delighted to work with Adventureland led by Davison Charamba and his partners for this latest chapter. We are grateful for them in believing in the vision and committing to partner with us as we go on a mission to amplify the Zimbabwean success stories in Botswana and lead to development and unity within our diaspora communities,’’ he added.

Mwanza also acknowledged the support of their sponsors and partners over the years as ZAA Celebrate their 10th year of existence this year.

“We have been able to keep this vision going for so many years because of the notable exploits of Zimbabweans. The support from our communities and partners such as ZororoPhumulani has also been very crucial. We will continue to keep celebrating our people’s success in the world,” Mwanza said.

The voting platform for ZAA SA will open on the ZAA website www.zimachievers.com starting from 25 October to 20 November.

Here is the full list of ZAA SA Nominees

People’s Choice Award

• Vongai Mapho

• Lewis John

• Shasha

• Learnmore Mwanyenyeka aka Long John

• Chaka Photography

• Odette Chiedza Chikwiti

Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment

• Learnmore Mwanyenyeka aka Long John

• Charmaine Mapimbiro SHASHA

• Nkululeko “Chunky” Phiri

• Tuks Tad Lungu

• Q Dube Siziba

Professional of the Year Female

• Tsungi Fundira

• Linah Maigura

• Cheryl-Jane (Cj) Kujenga

• Taurai Muranda

• Sophia Chitemere

• Roseanna Hall

  • Mazvita Maradzika

Professional of the Year Male

• Dr Xolani Ndlovu

• Thamsanqa Moyo

• Neville Mandimika

• Maxwell Mhepo

• Prince Moyo

• Jacob Machinjike

• Tawanda Tadzimirwa

• Gift Ngwenya

• Plowden Kambirienda

• Itai Maunganidze

Female Entrepreneur of the Year

• Taurai Muranda

• Debra Matake

• Chelsea Bartosz

Male Entrepreneur of the Year

• Tinashe Nyamudoka

• Peter Nyathi

• Samuel Kachikoti

• Tinashe Ruzane

• Tatenda Mungofa

Young Achiever Award

• Kanyisile Madonko

• Vongai Mampho

• Emmanual Bako

• Takudzwa Dube

• Nicolatte Matuku

• Melisa Laung

• Tapuwa Allin Manyange

Community Organisation of the Year

• African Diaspora

• Oasis Foundation

• Anthu Foundation

• Child’s Call

Business of the Year award

• Mukuru.com

• Chihwa Tours and Coaches

• Value Capital Partners

• Tropical Mushrooms

Outstanding Author/Writer of the the Year

• Brendah Nyakudya

• Tafadzwa Taruvinga

• Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu

• Faith kaumbo

• Yaya Rudo

Community Champion of the Year

• Joshua Maponga

• Gathel Moyo

• Sinanziwe Dube

• Tawanda Chikasha

• Sinanziwe Ndlovu

• Lionel Muchirahondo

Academic Excellence of the Year

• Dr Bhekumthetho Ncube

• Dr Innocent Maseko

• Professor Fay Hodza

• Prof Patient Rambe

• Prof Philani Moyo

• Prof Bright Mahembe

Sports Personality of the Year

• Nyasha Tarusenga

• Edmore Sibanda

• Kaitano Tembo

• Themba Gorimbo

Friends of Zimbabwe Award

• Ilonka Esterhuyse

• Maps Maponyane

• Marius Fransman

Simba Mhere Media Award

• Tapfuma Makina

• Jabulani Mangena

• ZimCelebs

• Wishes Zimunya

Oustanding Achievement in Music Award

• Hilzy

• Shasha

• Nadia Nakai

• Ammara Brown

Female Personality of the Year

• Melisana Noreen

• Roseanna Hall

• Catherine Jaramba

• Sinanziwe Ndlovu

• Odette Chiedza Chikwiti

• The_Golden Rose

Male Personality of the Year

• Tawanda Tadzimirwa

• Gift Ngwenya

• Babusi Nyoni

• Learnmore Mwanyenyeka aka Long John

• Tawanda Chikasha

Media Production / Media Practitioner

• Nico Nyoni

• Bokani Moyo

• Kuda Nyamz

• Whitemore Ngwira

• Nicolatte Matuku

• Elisha Mpofu

  • Munya Chanetsa

Business Leader of the Year

• Taurai Muranda

• Rachel Chikwamba

• Peter Moyo

• Rev. Maxwell Pirikisi

Business Innovation Award

• Dr Rufaro Nyamuda

• Tatenda Mungofa

• Prince Pirikisi

• Babusi Nyoni

Peter Ndlovu SA Based Footballer of the Year

• Elvis Chipezeze

• Willard Katsande

• Edmore Sibanda

• Knox Mutizwa

• Kudakwashe Mahachi

leslyicdigitalZAA SA Nominees announced as Dates are set for SA and Botswana editions
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The ZAA Virtual Summit 2020 is an interactive andempowerment focused round table discussion set for 26 and 27 November 2020. The Summit is a virtualplatform between the industry experts and keystakeholders in various fields of expertise acrossbusiness, entertainment, sport, and culture.

Registration Form

Those who are interested to take part please register below

[ninja_forms id=14]

leslyicdigitalVIRTUAL SUMMIT 2020
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2018 ZAA USA Nominees Announced

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ZAA USA Director – Faith Banda

The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) nominee shortlist for the USA edition  is out and several high profile personalities including fashion designer, Farai Simoyi have made the shortlist.

Organisers of the high profile event announced over 85 nominees across a reshuffled 14 category list. Nominations opened on 21 May and the public had until the end of July  to put forward individuals and organisations they felt had achieved remarkable things in the past year.

ZAA Organising Director, Faith Banda applauded the team of panellists for doing a remarkable job of coming up with this year’s shortlist.

“Zim Achievers has been around for eight years,starting out in the UK. The USA edition has made steady progress in the last three years and each year keeps getting bigger and better,” Faith said.

“The community spirit that has been established and the calibre of individuals and organisations that we have recognised since its inception shows how talented, determined and hardworking Zimbabweans are in building something we can all be proud of,” she added.

Voting will commence on Monday 20 August and will run until 20 September, with winners being revealed at the Zim Achievers gala on September 29.

The awards were established in 2010 and continue to celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and organisations in fields that include business, sport, entertainment, arts and culture.

Profiles of this year’s nominees will be featured on www.zimachievers.com/usa  and will detail the noteworthy successes of the shortlisted candidates.

This year’s awards will take place at the Gaithersburg Marriott hotel.The spectacular lakeside hotel has scenic views and is within walking distance of the popular  RIO Washingtonian Center.

The organising team have a new ticketing system in place, with a two-tier ticket campaign ongoing throughout August and September. Tickets are currently on sale for $75 until 10 September and will go up to $85 thereafter.

WorldRemit – Global sponsor

Meanwhile, London Fintech Company, WorldRemit was announced as the global sponsor for all four editions earlier in the year.

Founded in 2010, WorldRemit offers a money-transfer remittance service designed to help people send money to families back home. The company has continued to expand its services and have recently entered into a commercial partnership with top-tier English football side Arsenal, becoming the first official online money transfer partner of the Premier League club.

The ZAA annual gala dinner has become the society red carpet event and the most popular date on the Zimbabwean community calendar in four countries. It remains the pinnacle of celebration for the accomplishments of Zimbabweans who are settled USA.

2018 USA nominee shortlist:


  1. Flame Lily Group distribution – Thabi Francis

2.County Gutters-Maria Mariposa

3.Canada Mobile X-ray inc – Steve Mutizwa

  1. Zim tuckshop –Getrude Chimhungwe
  2. Yangu Product
  3. 2 Bros in the Kitchen


  1. Thabisile K Francis
  2. Farai Simoyi
  3. Shay Leonora Chinhengo
  4. Tanya Spandhla
  5. Matipa Mutsemi & Mercy Nyamangwanda
  6. Sipho Gumbo


  1. Steve Mutizwa
  2. Bongani Mlambo: cinematographer
  3. Ashley Shumba
  4. Tendai Musikavanhu
  5. Philip Bamu


  1. Mark Mupfumira
  2. Rachel Makume – Senior Manager at Shell
  3. Noel Samu VP Morgan Chase
  4. Madeline Chadeumbe
  5. Alan Makambo
  6. Cyril Ruwende


  1. Women of Dominion
  2. ZimDFW Alliance
  3. Build a class Zimbabwe
  4. Love Sisters Group
  5. The Salvation Army Harlem


  1. Cassandra Sibanda- Washington DC
  2. Lorine Magdalene Chigwedere – New Jersey
  3. Chido Johnson – Detroit
  4. Beatrice Savadye
  5. Patricia Katanha -PA


  1. Women of Dominion
  2. CFI
  3. Dallas FIF Women’s High tea
  4. Zim Expo
  5. Zimfest
  6. Mokoomba Music band World tour


  1. Dr Chipo Dendere
  2. Dr Fallon Chipidza
  3. Dr Praxidia Taruwinga Masenda
  4. Dr Wallace Chipidza
  5. MK Asante
  6. Chalenge Masekera


  • Alfred Kainga
  • Tongai Chirisa
  • Shingi Mavima – Author/Port
  • Nick Zemura
  • Sibongile Mlambo
  • Ndeipi Mudiaspora


  1. Marvellous Nyahuye Mhlanga -VOA
  2. MK Asante
  3. Rutendo Loveness Samas
  4. Mandhla Gumbo
  5. Tongai Chirisa
  6. Tendai Sibongile
  7. Alexandra Govera


  1. Tanyardzwa Tawengwa
  2. Taps Mugadza
  3. Tinashe
  4. Tino Chambati
  5. Chaka Ngwenya


  1. Dr. Rev Mwase

2.. Stephanie Mavunga

  1. Jona Masiya

4.Ru Chibanda

  1. Tsitsi Merritt
  2. Ruvarashe Mzinde


  1. Simba Usore
  2. DJ Tau
  3. Thokozani Mabena
  4. Sai Phifer
  5. MK Asante


  1. Portia Kandemiri
  2. Tsitsi Ndoro – Afrofitcavegirl
  3. Mandhla Gumbo
  4. Rutendo Loveness Samas
  5. Tendai Sibongile
  6. Elizabeth Kanyasa Buard
leslyicdigital2018 ZAA USA Nominees Announced
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Zim Achievers announces global partnership with WorldRemit as UK 2018 nominees are revealed

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Tidi Kwidini

THE Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) campaign has entered the final phase with the live announcement of the nominees and headline sponsor for the eighth edition of the red carpet soiree.

London Fintech Company, WorldRemit were announced as the global partner for ZAA International. They will this year headline the event which honours the achievements of Zimbabweans in the UK. The company is also headlining the South African,USA and Australian editions.

Speaking on the partnership, ZAA Chairman, Conrad Mwanza welcomed and thanked the company for coming on board for all four countries , adding that it is an honour to be in partnership with a well-respected brand that has community at the heart of what it does.

“Their synergy and dedication to community initiatives has shown us that we are not alone in bringing our vision and mission of recognising the talent our Zimbabwean community has, both locally and internationally.”

From left to right: Tidimalo Kwidini, ZAA Publicist, Alix Murphy, WorldRemit Head of partnerships, Conrad Mwanza, ZAA Chairman, Dorcas Gwata, ZAA Advisory Board

“Now, more than ever; is a time for us to unite and bring to light what Zimbabweans are doing. It’s time to tell our story because we do have a story to tell,and have so much more to achieve for the betterment of our community here in the diaspora and for our nation,Zimbabwe,” he added.

Founded in 2010, WorldRemit offers a money-transfer remittance service designed to help people send money to families back home. The company has continued to expand their services and have recently entered into a commercial partnership with top-tier English football side Arsenal, becoming the first official online money transfer partner of the Premier League club.

WorldRemit representative, Alex Murphy echoed Mwanza’s message saying: “We are delighted to be in partnership with ZAA. They are at the heart of the community and embody what we do; and strive to achieve.”

Meanwhile, over 85 nominees across 17 categories were announced at a press conference held at the WorldRemit headquarters in London.

An exciting new addition to the category list this year is the breakthrough award and has top talent such as Voice contestant, Donel Mangena and creative events duo Afrokings vying for the prize.

Cargo transporters, Savannah Freight and Vaka Buildings will this year sponsor the People’s Choice and the Community Champion awards, respectively.

Voting will commence on Friday 16 March and close at the end of April. Profiles of this year’s nominees will also be featured on zimachievers.com/uk and will detail the remarkable achievements of the shortlisted candidates.

ZAA Panel Chair, Tawanda Chiwira, said that the public’s response, as expected, was very positive and applauded them for the remarkable and well deserved nominations that were received for this year’s awards campaign.

“We received some exceptional nominations this year. The public have helped us to unearth the extraordinary talent we have in the Zim UK community.”

“There were strong entries across all categories and after extensive deliberations by the panel, we have come up with an excellent shortlist of candidates who have distinguished themselves in various sectors in the last year,” he added.

South African edition

Voting for the South African edition is currently underway. The event is scheduled for 7 April at the Hilton hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg and tickets are available for R650.

The United Kingdom’s edition will be held on Saturday 12 May 2018 at the Grange City Hotel in London. The luxury hotel is a stone’s throw away from the River Thames and overlooks the Tower of London and the iconic Tower Bridge.

Now in its eighth year, the awards have become one of the most prestigious and significant events within the UK Zimbabwean community calendar, bringing together business leaders and innovators from all sectors to celebrate the outstanding achievements of people of Zimbabwean heritage who reside in the UK.

Tickets are also on sale and are being sold exclusively for £75 until the end of March.

USA and Austrialia

Elsewhere,dates for the USA and Australian editions have been announced. The USA will hold their ceremony on 29 September and Australia will follow five weeks later on November 3. For more information,including nomination information,

Zimbabwe Achievers Awards 2018 Finalists                                                                                                                                                

Business of the Year

·         Genesis Law

·         Ekhaya

·         The Bantu Chefs Kitchen

·         Banya Family Placement Agency

·         Rainbow Medical Services Ltd

Male Entrepreneur

·         Dr Joseph Toindepi

·         Milton Mutukwa Sakutukwa

·         Ben Masina

·         Ndumiso Hlabangana

·         Chef Ray

Female Entrepreneur

·         Moira Chirara

·         Fungai Ndemera

·         Dee Mapasure

·         Julie Condliffe

·         Ennie Mupoto

Professional of the Year

·         Portia Khumalo

·         Fortune Mahwire Chigwende

·         Tongai Kunorubwe

·         Brian Mangwiro

·         Dr Caroline Makaka

Community Champion in association with Vaka Buildings

·         Jay Mawaka-Smith

·         Sithule Tshuma

·         Tariro Magombo

·         Dumie Moyo

·         Bongi Sibanda

Community Organisation

·         Touched By An Angel

·         Stevenage Kadoma Link Association

·         Afreec

·         St Mary’s Foundation Trust

·         Qoki Zindlovukazi

Music video of the Year

·         Kudana – Kazz Aka Mr_Boomslang

·         What U Need Ft Ian Green) -Valerie Sibanda

·         Kambo Boys – Sweet Larrisa

·         Lahlumleze -Black Diamonds

·         Real G- Icey Stanley Ft Mr Macee

Music artist of the Year

·         Ice Stanley

·         Black Diamond

·         Thabo Mkhwananzi

·         Valarie Sibanda

·         Kwaye

International Gospel Artist

·         Sabastian Magacha

·         Rev TT Chivaviro

·         Janet Manyowa

·         Michael Mahendere

·         Carol Nyakudya

Male Personality

·         Jacob “Mc/DJ Sebhelebhe” Mbofana

·         Vic Taks

·         Gineas Mupfayi

·         Gearbox

·         Munashe Comedy

·         Bawren Tavaziva

Female Personality

·        Dj Ru-Samantha Katsere

·         Olinda Chapel

·         Tendai-Dj Petitte

·         Natasha Ndlovu

·         Eugene Majuru

Fashion Designer

·         Leyelesi

·         Sinikiwe Moyo (Nikimoyo)

·         Diana Ntimane (Akani Fashion House)

·         Ngoni Chikwenengere (We Are Kin)

·         Joyline Munaiwa (Joy-Line Clothing)

Sports Personality

·         Don Armand

·         Seth Patrick

·         Trevor Mazhande

·         Cecil Nyoni

·         Tinotenda Chibharo

Event of the Year

·         Woman Of Valiance (Vow) 2017

·         Financial Markets Indaba – London

·         Zim Connect 17

·         Zimfest 2017

·         Zimlinkup All White Party

People’s Choice in association with Savannah Freight

·         Olinda Chapel

·         Gearbox

·         Big Kev

·         Gerald Belts

·         Dj Small Boy Taf

Breakthrough Award

·         David Matsekeza and Munya (Afrokings)

·         Donel Mangena

·         Nomalanga Creates

·         Empire Lounge-Leicester

·         Changamiri Coffee Shop

·         Nandi

Young Achiever

·         Theo Chikomba

·         Amanda Nkomo

·         Harry Phinda

·         Kudzanai Hwami

·         Tanaka Travels

leslyicdigitalZim Achievers announces global partnership with WorldRemit as UK 2018 nominees are revealed
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Trevor Manyame – ZAA Committee Member

Zimbabweans living in Australia are being encouraged to be part of this historic night of glitz and glamor, at the prestigious Hilton Adelaide Hotel on Saturday 28 October 2017.

Attendance has been confirmed from high profile business people, Australian government officials.

Guests will be treated to a 3 course dinner, an assortment of beverages and mesmerising entertainment.

Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) is a distinctly special awards ceremony seeking to recognise Zimbabweans who have pushed the limits against all odds to raise the flag high and do both themselves and their fellow countrymen proud abroad.
The event has become one of the most important in the African Diaspora community, from the United Kingdom, United States of America, South Africa and now Australia.

ZAA founder and businessman Mr Conrad Mwanza said: ‘’The community spirit that has been built and the calibre of individuals and organisations that we have recognised over the years in different countries really shows how talented, determined and studious Zimbabweans are in building something we can all be proud of.”

ZAA International Executive, Mr Trevor Manyame said, “Our main agenda for the inaugural ZAA Australia edition is not just to celebrate a very broad spectrum of talent, art, business, expression and achievement in the Zimbabwean community, but to unite them to share ideas and encourage participation in rebuilding our beloved home country.

“We greatly appreciate all our sponsors, especially Steward Bank and WorldRemit for supporting this distinct ceremony. Without their support this could have not been any better.”

Dr Lance Mambondiani, Steward Bank CEO, said Zimbabwe Achievers Awards was a noble cause, applauded the organisers for the initiative while urging the community to rally behind the event. He added: ‘’Any nation that does not honour its heroes will not endure. Our association with the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards is our token of support to the rewards of core values of hard work, resilience, dedication and triumph over adversity; values without which no nation can endure.”

Also in support of the edition was WorldRemit CMO, Mr Alex O’Shaughnessy who said: “We’re proud to be associated with the positive and inspiring work the ZAA is doing in connecting Zimbabweans across the globe.

“By bringing international remittances online, WorldRemit is making the process quicker, easier and more secure –helping people to focus on making the most of their opportunities, wherever they are. Like us, the ZAA believe that the mix of experiences and perspectives the Diaspora possess offers them unique opportunities to build a better future for themselves and for people around the world. We’re therefore very proud to lend our support to ZAA’s vision.”

As the count down to this memorable ceremony continues, the organisers’ greatest wish is to extent an invitation to everyone who is willing to partner in the development of “our country’s socio-economic policies”. To this effect the ceremony will communicate directly the messages of investment opportunities, prospective and lucrative working environment as well as peace loving Zimbabweans.

“ZAA is a great leap in the right direction in uniting the Zimbabwean Diaspora community not just in Australia but globally. It’s high time we take advantage of opportunities of this nature to promote economic solution based dialogue, sharing business ideas and opportunities, as well as inspiring positive action among young Zimbabweans in particular and African citizens in general in order to rebuild our nations.” said Mr Trevor Manyame.

The Diaspora community is uniting for the purpose of nation building towards a better dispensation, and views itself as an automatic and vibrant arm to the Zimbabwean government’s efforts for sustainable development through an economic blueprint.

“It is at this juncture that we sought and found it meaningful to engage the patriotic and progressive Zimbabweans in particular and Africans in general to cross pollinate along nation and continental development. The fundamental being dialogue and proposal of action plans which will be implemented thereafter. It is of great concern that government economic blueprint clusters must be fulfilled and supported with extensive contribution of the Diaspora community as well,” added Mr Trevor Manyame.

ZAA Australia’s organization comprise of a local committee led by Mr David Shepherd Mutusva alongside Mr Trevor Manyame, Mr Method Mukundu and Mr Jaison Midzi.

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WorldRemit partners with Zimbabwe Achievers Awards US and Australia for 2017 editions

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Alex O’Shaughnessy, CMO – Worldremit

Global money transfer service WorldRemit has partnered with the Australian and US chapters of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) for the 2017 award ceremonies to be held in October and November, respectively.

Now in its seventh year, the ZAA has grown to become the biggest platform celebrating the achievements of people of Zimbabwean heritage from across various fields of endeavour. Starting off in London, the awards have spread to other major cities across the globe with significant populations of Zimbabweans, starting with Johannesburg in 2014.

Australia has become the fourth country to host the ZAA after the UK, South Africa and the US. Preparations are at an advanced stage for its inaugural awards gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Adelaide on Saturday 28 October. ‘’The stage is set, the red carpet is ready, and tickets are selling out fast, I urge those who intend to attend to secure their tickets as places are limited; said Method Mukundu,, ZAA Australia Committee member.

The US awards, now in their second year, will be held on 11 November at the Marriot Quorum Hotel in Dallas. “We are looking forward to hosting another fantastic ZAA and as usual, we expect the event to sell out. I would urge people to secure their places early to avoid disappoint’’ added Vez Nkomo, ZAA US organising Chair.

Unlike traditional money transfer companies, WorldRemit is a purely digital service that allows individuals to send money to friends and family living abroad, using a computer, smartphone or tablet. The money can be received as a bank deposit, cash pick-up, Mobile Money, or mobile airtime top-up. Seeing the opportunity presented by the new mobile money technology emerging on the Continent, Founder and CEO, Ismail Ahmed, was able to help the diaspora to put money directly into the hands of recipients wherever they are and whenever they need it.

ZAA Chairman Conrad Mwanza welcomed the new partnership with WorldRemit, saying it signalled the company’s commitment to empowering the communities it worked with.

“We are delighted to be working with WorldRemit in fostering greater engagement with the Zimbabwean community around the world. Both ZAA and WorldRemit started in the diaspora and share a commitment to connect national and diaspora communities in beneficial and innovative ways. As we celebrate the achievements of our countrymen and women, we are raising awareness of our collective strength and demonstrating the huge possibilities that are within our reach as Zimbabweans,” Mwanza said.

WorldRemit CMO, Alex O’Shaughnessy said: “We’re proud to be associated with the positive and inspiring work the ZAA is doing in connecting Zimbabweans across the globe. By bringing international remittances online, WorldRemit is making the process quicker, easier and more secure –helping people to focus on making the most of their opportunities, wherever they are.


Like us, the ZAA believe that the mix of experiences and perspectives the diaspora possess offers them unique opportunities to build a better future for themselves and for people around the world. We’re therefore very proud to lend our support to ZAA’s vision.”

Tickets for the Australian and US editions are now on sale on www.zimachievers.com.

leslyicdigitalWorldRemit partners with Zimbabwe Achievers Awards US and Australia for 2017 editions
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ZAA announce comedy king Carl Joshua Ncube as headline act

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Carl Joshua Ncube

The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards(ZAA) are set to be a night of laughs and cracked ribs as organisers have announced comedian Carl Joshua Ncube as this year’s headline act.

In keeping with global awards shows where popular comedians such as Ellen DeGeneres, Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock and Kevin Hart are engaged as hosts, the ZAA have also secured Ncube’s services as compere for the evening’s proceedings.

The awards gala dinner is scheduled for the 9th of May at the five-star Royal Garden Hotel in London’s well-heeled district of Kensington. ZAA Executive Director Brian Nyabunze said his team were proud to have managed to bring The Big Announcement star to the UK for his first ever appearance in the country.

“We are thrilled to have secured Carl Joshua Ncube for the ZAA’s fifth anniversary event. He is loved everywhere and we expect that he will charm and entertain guests,” said Nyabunze.

“There are few stars today that have Carl’s gift for comedy, with his great warmth and personality. For years Zimbabweans in the UK have followed his exciting career and will have contributed to the growing number of his Youtube video views. However, this will be the first time that the UK community will get to see the king of Zimbabwean comedy live in action.

“People have asked us what new offerings we would have this year after the well received 2014 event. I’m proud to say we’ve set yet another standard and introduced top drawer comedy to the exquisite entertainment with which our awards show is now synonymous,” Nyabunze added.

Carl, who is also scheduled to tour Europe in the summer, is excited to be making his maiden appearance in the UK.

“I’m very happy to be coming to the UK … legally! When the visa officers asked about the purpose of my trip, I told them I was trafficking laughter. Unfortunately the joke didn’t play so well – it took me a long while to convince them that I’ve had absolutely no dealings with Liverpool striker, Raheem Sterling!

“Seriously, though, this will be an awesome opportunity to be around so many amazing achievers and make them laugh at the same time.”

Described by CNN African Voices as the “New face of Zimbabwean Comedy”, Carl literally broke into the Zimbabwean comedy scene with his debut one-man show, Carl Joshua Ncube’s Big Announcement, which set him up as the biggest Zimbabwean stand up comedy export.

In Zimbabwe Carl has done numerous one man shows and has performed at HIFA, Shoko, and Ibumba festivals around the country. Considered by his peers as an innovator who constantly pushes boundaries in multimedia in his performances, Carl is currently on a quest to take his version of Zimbabwe to the world.

To date he has performed in South Africa, Botswana, Nambia, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria ,USA (New York Gotham Comedy Club), and Australia (Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth).

Limited tickets to the event are available until the 3rd of May exclusively on zimachievers.com for £89.95. Organisers are continuing with the tried and tested world class ticketing system that was introduced last year and allows guests to choose their seats upon purchasing their tickets.

“We’ve stuck to a system that proved reliable and efficient the last time round. However, seating choices are becoming increasingly limited by the day as more people buy up tickets. So I would advise those intending to book tables to do so now,” Nyabunze said.

The ZAA has come a long way since its inaugural event in 2011 at The Mermaid Theatre in Blackfriars, London. Over the years, the glamorous red carpet event has entrenched its status as the standard bearer of recognising achievement in the UK Zimbabwean community.

leslyicdigitalZAA announce comedy king Carl Joshua Ncube as headline act
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ZAA to announce shortlisted nominees on the 5th of March

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ZAA Panel Chair, Dr Martha Chinouya

ZAA Panel Chair, Dr Martha Chinouya

The ZAA Panel is now sifting through hundreds of nominations for this year’s Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, with a shortlist expected to be announced on the 5th of March at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London.

Without letting the cat out of the bag, Panel chairperson Dr Martha Chinouya revealed that her committee was combing through more than 600 names submitted by members of the public from the beginning of the year till the 15th of February when nominations closed.

‘As usual, we are pleasantly surprised by the massive enthusiasm of the public to participate in the awards process. This just goes to show that the ZAA are the people’s awards,” Dr Chinouya said.

“We’re also blessed with candidates of exquisite quality this year – it seems the bar is improving continually as people of Zimbabwean heritage continue to outdo themselves in their various endeavours,” she added.

This year’s awards gala dinner will return to the luxurious Royal Garden Hotel, the venue for last year’s event.

Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, the ZAA has over the years grown into the foremost platform for recognising the achievements of people of Zimbabwean heritage. It has also become the go-to red carpet event of the year within the Zimbabwean community in the UK.

Boasting classy champagne receptions and sumptuous dinners amidst five-star splendour, the ZAA has distinguished itself for its elaborate entertainment. Last year, popular Zimbabwean Afro-jazz princess Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana brought the house down with her seasoned stage act and soulful crooning.

Before her, Zimbabwean-American R&B breakout star Tinashe Kachingwe of the ‘2On’ fame stole the hearts of ZAA 2013 guests with her marvelous voice and shimmering beauty. This year promises yet more thrills as ZAA celebrates its half-decade milestone.

A special discount on this year’s tickets is still running until the 5th of March. A standard ticket is going for £69.95 before reverting to the original price of £89.95.

leslyicdigitalZAA to announce shortlisted nominees on the 5th of March
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“Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” ZAA 2014 Charity Support

“Munhu munhu nekuda kwevanhu” “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu”
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love” (Mother Teresa) and that is exactly what the five charities the ZAA are supporting this year, are each doing, in their Individual ways

Fundraising for Mpilo Maternity Hospital


Initiative started a group of Zimbabwe friends in UK, the group collects blankets, baby clothes, equipment and send them to Zimbabwe to help Mpilo Hospital, A noble cause that ZAA is proud to support


Chirovakamwe School Library Fundraising Initiative 


Started after the Westminster West Rotary Club’s Visit to Zimbabwe, The Rotary Club pledged to build a Library for Chirovakamwe School



Zimbabwe Educational Trust is a diaspora-led charity based in the UK, working to support Zimbabwean communities in their efforts to keep children in school and out of poverty.

Founded in 1987, ZET’s initial goal was to help children from the newly independent Zimbabwe access higher education. In the 1980s, Zimbabwe had one of the best education systems in Africa, but suffered from a chronic lack of tertiary education. During the 1990s, ZET helped thousands of young Zimbabweans travel to the UK to study at colleges and universities across the country, obtaining fee waivers and accommodation for students

Global Hand of Giving

Global Hand of giving

Started by Linda Satimburwa using her own resources, Global Hand of Giving has helped pay for many children some upto University Level in her home town of Honde Valley


Vanavevhu – Children of the Soil provides support and advocates for child-headed households in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city. Incorporated in Illinois in 2007, Vanavevhu welcomed its first child heads in 2010.Vanavevhu has stabilized the lives of these at-risk youth by providing reliable assistance with food, education, and the cost of utilities, along with workshops that capitalize on their already formidable entrepreneurial instincts.

leslyicdigital“Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” ZAA 2014 Charity Support
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ZAA Headline Performer: Prudence

prudence 2

Prudence Katomeni Mbofana is a talented jazz songstress who was born in Harare Zimbabwe in 1977. She has performed on numerous stages  worldwide for many years. She is vibrant and sassy, and listening to her is always entertaining. She has mastered the various complexities of jazz and sure knows how to use those skills to create beautiful sounds. Prudence through out her professional career has lent her voice on various projects namely The Cool Crooner, Victor Kunoga Tanga wekwa Sando and Jazz Invitation these projects have produced hit tunes such as Wake, Dhlomo and BP. In 2011 Prudence launched her much anticipated self-titled debut album. The diverse collection of songs has something for everyone and the album is a captivating piece of mastery.

Prudence is an award winning actress who has been putting Zimbabwe on the map from a tender age. She has won four awards in her 1993 role in ‘More Time’ which included an Mnet Movie Award forBest Actress and more recently,Playing  Warriors .Prudence Was with Jazz Invitation for a decade, and toured and shared a stage  legends such as Miriam Makeba, Take Six and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The band released its debut album titled ‘The Rehearsal Room’, and then toured Namibia with the album. Prudence also featured on the Cool Crooners’ second album released 2005 ‘Isatilo’. They toured extensively together, going to countries in the French territory and to Namibia.

International noteworthy performances:

  • Molde Jazz in Molde (Germany)
  • Olimpia Paris France
  • Mal Festival in Oslo, Norway’s capital, with an all female band called Wo-calling.
  • Prudence was also invited as a guest singer to the Women’s Summit which took place in Namibia
  • She four sold out shows in Denmark in March 2013 to celebrate International Woman’s Day which was hosted by All4Children

Zimbabwean noteworthy performances:

  • Had a sold out opening concert at HIFA 2013 where almost 1000 fans packed the 7Arts Theatre of which she has been a part of for the last six years
  • Italian October Jazz International Festival in Harare Zimbabwe
  • Winter Jazz Festival
  • Women in Jazz Festival

Prudence’s knowledge of Jazz music and her command and presence of live performances has established her as a reputable brand that every citizen off Zimbabwe even beyond our borders can identify with, her songs and lyrics address everyday life issues. She is undoubtedly a Zimbabwean super brand and continues to get better and better with every performance.

leslyicdigitalZAA Headline Performer: Prudence
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Mathias ‘Matty’ Julius at ZAA 2014

Mathias ‘Matty’ Julius

Mathias ‘Matty’ Julius

HE is the consummate artist whose irrepressible talents could not be limited to a single discipline.

Audiences in Zimbabwe and abroad came to know him as a dancer and choreographer with the esteemed dance company, Tumbuka.

But on the 10th of May, guests to this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) in London will rock and skank to the multilingual, soulful reggae vibes of Mathias ‘Matty’ Julius.

The silky-voiced crooner, who has recorded two albums to date, is fast emerging as one of Africa’ most exciting original reggae artists.

At a time when West Africa is sweeping the continent in a harmattan of the highly infectious Afrobeats rhythms, Matty is helping to shore up reggae music on the continent.

He has been featured extensively in the media and has also performed live on the BBC World Service.

Singing in Shona, Ndebele and English, Matty writes about love, life and the challenges facing many of his compatriots today.

His music draws on a variety of influences, from traditional and popular Zimbabwean music to reggae and dub.
Ever since the legendary Bob Marley came to perform at Zimbabwe’s inaugural independence celebrations in 1980, reggae music came to be a key part of the country’s urban youth culture, particularly in the working class townships.

But while the “ghetto youths” (as they affectionately refer to themselves in their music) have launched into the more brash, boisterous and street-wise dancehall sub-culture, Matty has stuck to what he knows and does best.

He belongs to an enduring community of Zimbabwean original reggae artists who have stuck to their craft despite the vicissitudes of the economy and the music market.

Of his journey to recording artiste via dance and choreography, Matty says: “Since I was a kid my dream was to be a performer – music or dance.

“And I started with music as a teenager trying to do the old dancehall we called digital in those days, playing pots and pans to make ‘riddims’.

“Then around the early nineties I found myself wearing tights, doing ballet and contemporary dance with Tumbuka Dance Company, and I fell in love with dance and travelling and seeing the world.”

“I was always singing throughout my dancing career, and then in 2006 I decided to set up my own recording studio and start to make music.

“So I have a soft spot for both. Dance will always be in me but music is growing in me now. I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to pursue both my dreams,” he explains.

His debut album, “Here I Come”, was recorded in 2006 and is currently selling online on iTunes, Amazon and other online stores.
In 2011 Matty followed this up with a second album, “Don’t Look Back”, which received generous airplay on Zimbabwean stations and on international online radio stations in the UK, the US, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

The hit song “Twenty-Ten”, an innovative collaboration with Zimbabwean star Oliver Mtukudzi, featured in Zimbabwe’s top twenty. “Pahushamwari Hwedu” was the Tafara-born Matty’s huge hit single released in March 2012.

A collaboration between well-known artists on Zimbabwe’s reggae scene, it features Matty, Mannex Motsi, Thanda Richardson, Kalabash, Cello Culture, Mary Motsi, Chaza, J.Farai, and Lady Squanda.

“The track is about reggae artists in Zimbabwe coming together as one, about togetherness as a nation, about peace and loving one another,” Matty says. Pahushamwari Hwedu, Mathias “matty” Julius

But in an urban youth culture that is awash with a cacophony of foreign sounds, from Hip-hop, R&B and Soul to Kwaito, Funky House and even Soukous, how did Matty come to settle for reggae?

“When I started recording I made collaborations with Hip-hop/R&B/Soul, which was fun, but whenever I heard a reggae beat it always gave me inspiration,” he said.

“That’s when I decided reggae was for me. I have always liked reggae and after playing a lot of dancehall in the mid-nineties, the older I got the less I liked fast music. That’s why I prefer slow roots reggae vibes.”

It is hard enough grinding out recognition by music fans in one’s country, let alone in a foreign capital with its steamrolling mainstream musical culture that seems to consign everything else to the margins.

But right on the cultural margins of British society is where Matty’s people can be found: Zimbabweans, other African and Afro-Caribbean migrant communities, and pretty much every cultural moth attracted to the vibrant, the creatively incandescent and different.

“Being here in the UK has made me raise my game even more. It’s great to see so many other people from all over the world performing to their highest standard and that’s opened up more creativity in me,” Matty said.

“The Zimbabwean Diaspora in the UK – or at least around London – are starting to get to know my music. I think they might appreciate and accept my music because it has a different vibe to much of the new music coming out of Zimbabwe today.

“I now have a fan base coming from the Yorira Ngoma event which I co-founded with Tomson Chauke at the end of 2013. And I’m happy that I’ve had positive feedback from audiences when I’ve performed elsewhere too, which is cool.”

For a young Southern African vocalist to pick up the microphone and sing reggae music to the world one is inevitably accosted by references and comparisons to anti-apartheid and social justice hero Lucky Dube, whose African interpretations of the Jamaican genre received global acclaim. Is Matty fazed by these expectations?

“I am a Lucky Dube fan; he was certainly one of the reggae giants coming out of Africa,” he said.
“In terms of my journey, I started performing for my Zimbabwean people first but I would like to perform more abroad and to get more recognition both at home and overseas.

“I know the road can be long but I’m happy with the positive reception I’m getting so far here in the UK. But only God knows where my journey will end up.”

Guests to the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards gala dinner at the regal Royal Garden Hotel in the fashionable district of Kensington will get to witness Matty’s unfolding journey and rock steadily to his soulful lover’s rock reggae.

Now in their fourth season, the ZAA are sponsored by new money transfer company ZymPay and have become the flagship platform for recognising the achievements of the Zimbabwean community in the UK. Tickets to the event are available for a limited time on the ZAA website.

Matty joins an exciting line-up of performers brought in by organisers to raise the bar even higher this year and give guests an all-round exquisite experience to remember.

leslyicdigitalMathias ‘Matty’ Julius at ZAA 2014
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Farai & The Forest Dawn to rock Zim Achievers Awards

EVER wondered what Cold Play would sound like if Chris Martin grew up in Bulawayo, hooked up with a rock guitarist with an intuitive ear for the rhythms of his African heritage, and together formed a band with two British boys and a Russian drummer?

Meet Farai & The Forest Dawn, the exciting new quintet whose heady brew of multiple musical strains, finished with a dash of Africa, is fast winning converts on London’s live music circuit.

Comprising the Zimbabwe-born pair of lead singer Farai Muvuti and guitarist Nathan Majongwe, keyboardist Jonathan Morris, bass guitarist Jobey Bell and drummer Kirill Khassine, the band is now set to perform at their grandest venue yet.

On the 10th of May, they make their way to the luxurious five-star Royal Garden Hotel in London’s affluent Kensington district to jam at the annual Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA). This year’s awards are sponsored by new money transfer company, ZimPay.

With spectacular views of Kensington Palace and the magnificent Kensington Gardens, the hotel provides a fitting aura of splendour to what is set to be a night of memorable celebration.

It is fitting that the ZAA has invited Farai & The Forest Dawn to come and entertain guests and award recipients on the night. The band has just emerged from a remarkable triumph of its own. Over the course of 15 weeks, from 2nd November 2013 to 8th February 2014, they battled 80 bands from across the UK at the Boisdale Jukebox in Canary Wharf, and emerged as winners of the Battle of the Bands 2014.

It was a remarkable feat that announced their arrival on the scene as a serious creative force. They stormed to victory largely on their own compositions, having initially introduced themselves to music fans through a handful of Youtube cover versions of Motown classics such as Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’.

Muvuti explained this strategic approach: “When you look at the history of bands, including our very own Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi, they started by covering popular genres to build a following before introducing their own material.

We started with what was closer to home in terms of the sound we wanted to put out, which was Motown. But we came with a different twist to it – basically we wanted to converge the sounds you know from Motown and from current pop rhythms, and infuse them with a touch of Africa just to show our appreciation of where we come from and who we are.”

But with members of the group hailing from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds whose broad sweep covers everything from Afropop, Soul, Folk, Rock and R&B, it was inevitable that the group would soon set aside the cover versions and to step out in their own skin.

“We decided that we’ve got lots of songs to do, we’ve got lots of material that we need to work on,” guitarist Majongwe said, explaining the band’s decision to end the cover versions and start playing their own music.

Their material covers the full gamut of life, from love and relationships to work and social issues, and is set to an eclectic mix of melodies and rhythms that reflect the band’s multicultural heritage.

But in a music industry that invests in tried and tested formulas and shuns unfamiliar sounds that may present a marketing risk, which established act would the band be happy to be likened to?

“Our music is in the same style as Bruno Mars, with just a touch of Cold Play and Kings of Leon,” Muvuti said, “Our lyrics exude a universal simplicity and our choruses are short and specific and easy to sing along to.”

The ZAA celebrates the achievements of the Zimbabwean community in the UK and promotes corporate social responsibility through supporting charitable causes. ZAA executive director Brian Nyabunze expressed satisfaction with the progress of preparations for this year’s show.

“We’re just making the final tweaks to our preparations to ensure our guests enjoy a memorable experience of exquisite quality. Tickets are moving fast and table bookings are working efficiently, thanks to the world class ticketing system we’ve put in place,” Nyabunze said.

leslyicdigitalFarai & The Forest Dawn to rock Zim Achievers Awards
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ZymPay Main Sponsor


The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards has unveiled ethical money transfer business ZymPay Ltd as the main sponsors for this year’s edition of the premier red carpet show, which is scheduled to take place on the 10th of May at the five-star Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. They take over from MoneyGram, who had held the sponsorship position for the past three seasons.

ZymPay plans to open its first global route to Zimbabwe in the second quarter of this year. “Our service aims to deliver a safe and fair way to send money abroad,” says Dakshesh Patel, founder and CEO of ZymPay.

“We have adopted extremely high standards of compliance for ‘Know Your Client’ (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML), going way beyond current guidelines and practices. It means that we – and the institutions we partner with here and in Zimbabwe – have the greatest confidence in our system.”

There has been much debate and concern from Regulators and Financial Institutions of Remittances. The level of compliance varies amongst money remittance companies and ZymPay sets a new standard to assure compliance to the highest standards that regulators seek to implement in future.

Taking this approach means each transaction is automatically cleared in real-time and in accordance with a high degree of assurance around KYC/AML at both the send and receive points of the transaction cycle.

The service is all electronic and seamless. “My vision is to reduce the friction associated with the process of money transfer at an economic cost,” says Patel. “We wanted to just let the money flow, but in a safe and entirely secure way.”

While the company is more than merely competitive with the major players, ZymPay have gone further to win customers with an easier process.

“Placing the customer first is at the heart of any good business,” says Nicholas Ricketts, ZymPay’s CMO. “We knew that the existing systems out there were time-consuming and laborious for people. So we removed the form-filling and waiting around at money transfer agents.”

The proof of the ethical side to the business comes in two parts. ZymPay plan to be completely transparent with their rates with low fees that will simply cover ID checks and processing. Then they will use a share of profits to build a foundation to deliver health and education projects in the recipient countries.

“I came to the UK during the troubles in the seventies and was lucky enough to gain a good education that started me off on a successful career path. I am grateful for the opportunities afforded me and now feel that it’s time to give something back,” says Patel.

“The Foundation model that I already run through my business has helped deliver projects in Sri Lanka and South Africa in conjunction with a leading UK School. I’ve seen at first hand just how effective carefully delivered education can be. We will build a meaningful foundation funded solely from our earnings from ZymPay so that customers know that when they send money home they are doing some good too.”

ZAA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Soko, said the new partnership with ZymPay was an exciting development as both organisations shared similar visions and goals. He expressed confidence that the new strategic partnership would allow the ZAA more opportunity to develop its youth mentorship programme as well as add more value to the awards for all the nominees and winners.

His counterpart, ZAA executive director Brian Nyabunze, welcomed the new sponsorship deal with Zympay and hailed it as a perfect meeting of minds since both organisations are inspired by the principle of giving back to, and empowering the community.

“We admire ZymPay’s ethical business model that places a high premium on sowing into the community in order to achieve sustainable development. As ZAA, we see a confluence of values and objectives with ZymPay in our high regard for the role of corporate social responsibility in driving social change,” he said.

Now in its fourth year, the ZAA has grown to become the flagship awards event for the Zimbabwean community in the UK. Having signalled its ambitions with an inaugural show at the swanky Mermaid Theatre in London’s Blackfriars district in 2011, the ZAA is now habitually resident at some of London’s most glamourous five-star hotels. This year’s event will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel, situated in the regal environs of Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens.

Tickets are now on sale on Zimachievers.com, and this year organisers have put in place a world class ticketing system that allows customers to pick their table and seat before they make a purchase. Unlike in previous editions, this year’s awards show will be followed by an after-party at the same venue. Entertainment during the awards show and afterwards will be provided by an impressive cast of performers to be unveiled soon, organisers said.

leslyicdigitalZymPay Main Sponsor
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Dr Martha Chinouya


Dr Martha Chinouya is the Chairperson of the Panelists.

She is currently based at Liverpool University, Finsbury Square, London.  She is in the Public Health Department where she teaches on the Masters in Public Health Programme.   She also conducts research and her interests interrogate the interactions between migration, identities, stigma and health/medicines.  She is also interested in gendered violence in Africa.  She has led a number of research projects that involved African migrants living in England and has worked in various African settings.   Importantly, Martha has led some benchmark health research with Zimbabweans in England.  She has published widely and has worked in numerous universities in the United Kingdom and around the world, particularly supervising postgraduate students including doctoral candidates.

leslyicdigitalDr Martha Chinouya
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Vickie Storm

Vickie Storm is passionate about live television and understands its power of influence in this modern day society.

Vickie Storm is an Award winning TV and Radio presenter with expertise in broadcasting.  She has appeared on a numerous
radio stations in Zimbabwe and the UK including the BBC. Vickie is a founder of Mind After Christ Kids/Youth organisation
affiliated to Scripture Union which host annual Christian camps each year. She trains children between the
age groups of 8 years and 17 years in basic life skills through Biblical teachings and practical approaches. She works with young
ladies of different backgrounds through mentorship focusing on basic life skills (Prov31 lady).  She has been involved in project
management of charitable events including cancer awareness, pioneering online radio stations. Vickie currently stands as the Panel Co-ordinator of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards Panelist that deliberates and identifies award winners. Vickie is a holder of a BSc Honors in Occupational Therapy from Northampton University.
leslyicdigitalVickie Storm
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Winston Mano

2012 Academic Award winner in the Zimbabwean Achievers Awards. Dr Winston Mano has been  Director of the Africa Media Centre at the University of Westminster since 2009. He is also a Reader in Media and Communications and Course Leader of the MA in Media and Development. Mano edited Racism, Ethnicity and the Media in Africa (2014) and has other forthcoming publications. His publications include chapters in Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa(2012), Radio in Africa Publics, Cultures, Communities (2011), Zimbabwe’s New Diaspora: Displacement and The Cultural Politics of Survival (2010) and Internationalizing Media Studies (2009).  He is the Principal Editor of the Journal of African Media Studies published by Intellect Ltd and has published in journals that include Media, Culture & Society, The Radio Journal, Southern Review, Critical Arts, Communicare and the Global Media and Communication Journal. Mano’s research interests include Democracy and the Media; China- Africa Media; Audiences; Media and Development in Africa. He teaches Communication Policy and Development, Media Audiences, Audience Studies and supervises MA and PhD students. Mano has helped establish the CAMRI Africa Media Series of annual conferences at the University of Westminster. Mano joined the University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) in 2000 from the University of Zimbabwe where he was a Lecturer in the Dept of English and Media Studies. He studied in Zimbabwe, Norway and Britain.

leslyicdigitalWinston Mano
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